Some types of inventions, such as technologies (computers, steam engines, water mills, e.g.) are physical while others are cultural. Cultural inventions can include legal systems, artistic genres, philosophy, or other immaterial aspects of a society. Often cultural inventions are far longer lasting and more durable than technological ones. Few people would wish to have their illnesses treated using nineteenth-century medical techniques or drive a forty-year old car, but many people still enjoy art and poetry from the distant past.
Ancient Greece, for example, invented such cultural phenomena as democracy, theater, and philosophy, while the Jewish people of over two millennia ago were the original source of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, and its descendants Christianity and Islam). The Romans invented many of the legal principles which still inform many western societies, while the philosophy of Confucius is still an important part of Chinese culture.